ahead of NigIn the 2023 general election, celebrity activism may be one way to combat political apathy. It is important to know that a celebrity is a famous person; An entertainment celebrity is not the only type of celebrity we have, therefore social media influencers, academics, and religious leaders are celebrities in their respective spaces. The politically literate and illiterate anticipate that their favorite celebrity will endorse a candidate, so they can follow suit. Celebrities are role models capable of influencing the political decisions of their followers and the government. Candidates from different political parties seek the influence of credible celebrities to bolster their trust and credibility with the electorate. The influence that celebrities exert on their fans can have an impact on turnout and results in the 2023 election. This article will focus on the potential role that celebrities can play in the 2023 election.
Firstly, one role that celebrities can play is to raise awareness to address low citizen turnout during elections. The poor political participation of citizens can be: apathy in the registration and collection of the Permanent Elector Card (PVC), awareness of voters about the danger of selling votes, danger of political apathy, etc. For example, Rinu Oduala, the popular “End SARS” activist and social media influencer, uses Twitter to campaign against political apathy and a constituency sensitive to PVC registration and collection. Also, Lagos State University Vice Chancellor Professor Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello creates a platform for LASU students to register and collect PVC. In rural areas, attention should be paid to raising awareness about poor political participation to facilitate equal participation and representation.
What’s more, persuading qualified voters to vote on Election Day is a role celebrities can take on. Some voters do not need to be persuaded to go out and vote because they are actively involved in political activities and politics. Other voters may need to be persuaded through social media, television, newspaper and radio ads, and lighting. Celebrities can use their social media handles and podcasts to persuade eligible voters to vote on Election Day. Their presence in the voting booth is absent to encourage voters to go out and vote. For example, the presence of Pastor EA Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeeming Christian Church of God (RCCG), in a voting booth will influence many people to vote in the same voting booth.
Moving on, celebrities can assist election officials for a quick, easy and transparent election. Celebrities can assist the election official by setting up the polling station, verifying voter ID, issuing ballots and instructing voters on how to mark and fold ballots, serving all voters in a friendly and efficient manner, receiving marked ballots of the voters, etc. All of these activities reduce the cumbersome work of election officials, which helps in easy, fast and transparent elections.
Also, celebrities endorsing credible candidates. Celebrity endorsements of candidates should be based on credibility and not mere publicity. Celebrities should strive to endorse credible candidates because fans transfer their love and feeling for a celebrity to candidates. Some voters do not follow political activities or politics, but are likely to support any candidate endorsed by their favorite celebrity. Celebrities who have the most influence with voters, especially those with prior political activism, must be genuine endorsers and not mere hype.
Finally, celebrity activism is a way to boost society’s political participation. Since the influence of celebrities can be used to gain political participation, we also need them to become more involved in political and political activities. Roles such as raising awareness to address poor political turnout, persuading qualified voters to vote, assisting election officials for fast, easy and transparent elections and supporting credible candidates will play a huge role in the elections of 2023.
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